WASHINGTON - The former Sept. 11 commission gave dismal grades Monday to the federal government's efforts to shore up national security and prevent another terror attack on the United States.—AP,MSNBC, 12/05/05Once again it is clear our government, under the inept leadership of George W. Bush, has put all of its priorities in the wrong order. The mega-fortune funneled into the Iraq campaign, and away from fighting terrorists on the international level, has put every American, if not everyone in the world, in further jeopardy of a terrorist attack.
These groups of cells, who recruit in nations around the globe, who organize for the sake of causing mayhem and chaos to innocents, need a flow of funding to keep the engine running. This monetary stream is coming increasingly from internet scams that are bringing in untold amounts of cash.
No country is immune from cybercrime, which includes corporate espionage, child pornography, stock manipulation, extortion and piracy, said Valerie McNiven, who advises the U.S. Treasury on cybercrime.
"Last year was the first year that proceeds from cybercrime were greater than proceeds from the sale of illegal drugs, and that was, I believe, over $105 billion," McNiven told Reuters.
"Cybercrime is moving at such a high speed that law enforcement cannot catch up with it."
…Asked if there was evidence of links between the funding of terrorism and cybercrime, McNiven said: "There is evidence of links between them. But what's more important is our refusal or failure to create secure systems, we can do it but it's an issue of costs."—Reuters, Yahoo, 11/28/05
“…An issue of costs.” Well there it is, right in your face: Jeff Levy quoted this story on his radio show about computers and added an anecdote about the following phishing caper. “Phishing” is the attempt by an on line criminal to trick the unsuspecting surfer into thinking the personal information being requested is coming from a legitimate source, such as an individual’s bank or credit card company. A new scam came about last week involving the IRS—phony IRS web site, that is—emailing individuals that they were due a refund but that they had to provide their banking information. This may sound like an easy hoax to spot, but when the web user is faced with a legitimate-looking web site, which may actually be an exact version of the IRS web site only with the capability of re-directing the inputted information to an off-shore computer, that web user may succumb to the scam.
In fact, thousands of people have readily plugged in their social security numbers upon request to what they thought was their bank or any institution they do business with, and the information went directly to foreign sources who then can access that person’s bank account and withdraw money before being detected. Now it is becoming obvious that some of the $105 billion in cyber stealing is helping to fund the terrorist agenda.
The American taxpayer should know that US money is going to waste, fighting a non-existent war on terror in some places in the world, while in others, including right here at home in the IRS, the capability is there to stop terrorists from undetected stealing, but the Bush administration doesn’t know enough to spend the money to make the effort.
The 9/11 Commission came to the right conclusion in giving failing grades to the Bush government effort to quell terrorism, but even they might not know how right they were.